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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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8th Air Force
05.08.1944 790th Bomb Squadron (H) B-24H 42-95162 B-24 ‘Perils of Pauline’ 2nd Lt. David E. Love

Operation: Braunschweig-Waggum (Mission #519), Germany

Date: 5th August 1944 (Saturday)

Unit: 467th Bombardment Group (H), 790th Bombardment Squadron (H), 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force

Type: B-24H Perils of Pauline

Serial No: 42-95162

Code: Q2:U

Location: 10 km NE of Bremerhaven, Germany

Base: Rackheath (Station #145), Norfolk, England

Pilot: 2nd Lt. David Edd Love O-798318 AAF Age 25. PoW, Unknown camp (1)

Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Edward Zebulon Coltey O-817390 AAF Age 21. Killed

Bombardier: 2nd Lt. William Russell Kramer O-673200 AAF Age 21. Killed

Radio/Op: S/Sgt. John H. O’Hara 39114719 AAF Age? Killed

Engineer: S/Sgt. John D. Collins 18219624 AAF Age 24. PoW *

Ball Turret: S/Sgt. Joseph J. Klemas 32865318 AAF Age 32. Killed

Right Waist: S/Sgt. John M. Beseny Jr. DFC 12152256 AAF Age 21. Killed

Left Waist: S/Sgt. James Leonard Mott 38402318 AAF Age 21. Killed

Tail: S/Sgt. Bernard Clement LeBar 33602023 AAF Age 20. Killed

The B-24 had 10 crew positions. Crew complements evolved during the war and generally comprised 9 personnel who were typically, but not always, Pilot, Co-Pilot, Bombardier, Navigator, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, Radio Operator/Waist Gunner, Nose Gunner, Ball Turret Gunner, Waist Gunner, Tail Gunner.

* Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow, Pomerania, Prussia now Poland (Moved from Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug. Moved to Wöbbelin near Ludwigslust and then to Usedom near Swinemünde).

REASON FOR LOSS:

B-24H 42-95162, Q2:U 'Perils of Pauline' (credit: The 467 BG (H) Association)

B-24H Perils of Pauline took off from Rackheath on the morning of 5th August 1944 at 08:32 hrs to take part in a 24 aircraft mission to bomb the MIAG aircraft components factory on the airfield at Braunschweig-Waggum in Germany.

From various sources it has been deduced that the Perils of Pauline was hit by flak which ultimately resulted in the aircraft becoming uncontrollable, entering a spin and crashing.

A post-mission witness statement by 2nd Lt. Glenn D. Young described what he saw regarding the Perils of Pauline:

“I last saw Lt. Love's aircraft at the IP (Initial Point) at which time he dropped back out of our formation. He had dropped out of formation several times before evidently having trouble with #2 engine which was smoking, but not violently. The last time he dropped out which was just about the IP he was seen by the Tail Gunner to join a formation behind us and apparently came across the target. That is the last we saw of him”.

A second post-mission witness statement by S/Sgt. Tommy F. Brown from the 790th Bomb Sqn described what he saw regarding the Perils of Pauline:

“At 13:32 hrs Lt. Love's aircraft dropped out of formation and to the rear. After trying to keep up for an half hour he did a left bank and I watched him till he was out of sight. Nothing that I could see was causing trouble except that he could not keep up to the formation. The ship dropped back twice before the above mentioned time. After that I didn't see him again”.

It was reported that the Perils of Pauline left the formation after about 20 minutes into Germany and headed east a few miles south of Bremen after being hit by flak The aircraft became uncontrollable, entered a spin and crashed some 180 km NW from the target at 13:55 hrs about 2 km south of Wehden, which is some 8½ km NE of Bremerhaven and was totally destroyed.

1st Lt. Love and S/Sgt. Collins, described in their Individual Casualty Questionnaire’s (ICQ) that after the aircraft entered a spin, S/Sgt. Collins bailed out at 13000 feet from the bomb bay section by stepping off on the inside of the spin and that 1st Lt. Love dived out head first on the outside of the spin also from the bomb bay section about 300 to 400 feet from the ground.

Their ICQs describe that:

1st Lt. Coltey was seen to climb out of the co-pilot’s seat and bail out. S/Sgt. Collins who bailed out before 1st Lt. Coltey saw him slip through his parachute harness and watched his empty parachute float down. The supposition was that his leg straps were not fastened,

They speculated that S/Sgt. O’Hara had slipped on the bomb bay catwalk and fell out through the open bomb bay doors before he could clip on his parachute,

1st Lt. Love was told by German Intelligence at Dulag Luft that 2nd Lt. Kramer’s body was found cut in half still in his parachute. It is speculated that he had hit a propeller after bailing out of the nose escape hatch,

They believed that the four gunners in the front and rear of the aircraft were unable to bail out because of the centrifugal forces and perished when the aircraft crashed.

German records show that 1st Lt. Love was captured in Spaden which is about 4 km SW of the crash site at about 14:20 hrs and that S/Sgt. Collins was captured in Laven which is about 2½ km south of the crash site at about 14:20 hrs. Both were transferred to Dulag Luft at Oberursel on the 6th August 1944.

(1) Lt Col. David Edd Love, Purple Heart, remained in the US Air Force after he was repatriated and served in Korea and Vietnam. He was born on the 5th November 1919 and passed away on the 2nd November 2002, aged 82. He was laid to rest next to his wife Marian O. Love (23rd June 1920 - 12th December 2001) at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA.

Burial details:

1st Lt. Coltey, 2nd Lt. Kramer, S/Sgt. Klemas, S/Sgt. Mott and S/Sgt. LeBar were initially interred in individual graves at the Standortfriedhof (Garrison Cemetery) in Wesemünde-Geestemünde (now Bremerhaven-Geestemünde), Section III, Field K, Row 1 on the 9th August 1944.

It is not known where or when the bodies of S/Sgt. O’Hara and S/Sgt. Beseny, Jr. were recovered.

1st Lt. Edward Zebulon Coltey. Repatriated and buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery, Plot K, Marker 6499. Born on the 27th February 1923 in Los Angeles, California. Son of Clarence Milton and Kathleen Amy (née Smith) Coltey of Los Angeles, California, USA.

Above 2nd.Lt. Kramer: (Credit: Jaylynn F. FindAGrave)

2nd Lt. William Russell Kramer. Repatriated and buried at the Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, Section 123, Lot 6. Born on the 4th October 1923 in Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio. Husband to Edna Mae (née Gelhausen) Kramer. Son to Russell Anthony and Flora Martha Rebecca (née Edmondson) of Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio and husband to Edna Mae (née Gelhausen) Kramer of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA.

Above S/Sgt. O'Hara. (Credit: Dominique Potier FindAGrave)

S/Sgt. John H. O’Hara. Air Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart. Reinterred at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Plot UU, Row 8, Grave 200. Relocated to Plot C, Row 28, Grave 5. Son to Mrs. Anne O’Hara, of San Francisco, California, USA.

S/Sgt. Joseph J. Klemas. Repatriated and buried at the St Mary’s Cemetery, Yonkers, New York, USA. Born on the 23th November 1912 in Pennsylvania. Son to John and Catherine Stovnech Klemas/Dalton (originally from Lithuania via Scotland) of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, USA.

Above: S/Sgt. Beseny, Jr. (Credit: Dominique Potier FindAGrave)

S/Sgt. John M. Beseny, Jr. DFC, Air Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster) Purple Heart. Reinterred at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Plot A, Row 8, Grave 21. Born on the 23rd December 1922. Son to John and Mary M. Beseny of Hudson County, New Jersey and husband to Stephie C. Beseny from Bayonne, New Jersey, USA.

S/Sgt. James Leonard Mott. Repatriated and buried at the Fairlawn Cemetery, Stillwater, Oklahoma, Block-1A3, Lot 5. Born on the 17th October 1923 in Stillwater, Payne County, Oklahoma. Son to Frederick Arthur and Myrl M. (née Ricker) Mott of Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA.

S/Sgt. Bernard Clement LeBar. Repatriated and buried at the Prospect Cemetery, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, Section H67, Grave 3 on the 1st April 1949. Born on the 17th September 1924 in Pennsylvania. Son of Albert and Edith Susan (née Hineline) LeBar of Monroe, Pennsylvania, USA.

Researched by Ralph Snape for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Special thanks to Andy Wilkinson from the 467th BG(H) Association for permission to use aircraft image.

RS 03.12.2019 - Spelling corrections

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Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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